Training of Common farmers
In new areas and also where new farmers or one year old farmers were there we organized training with help of experienced Village Resource Persons/ Skilled Extension Workers in the villages. These Skilled extension workers and village Resource Persons were trained and supported by project Supervisors and Project Managers who are subject matter specialists and highly experienced and rooted in SRI promotion. The training was organized using fur of SRI method of crop cultivation and pamphlets. The resource persons practically demonstrated the priming of seeds using materials and made the farmers understand the importance of all the steps of SRI method of crop cultivation. The villages Resource Persons were also used by government of Bihar to provide training to landless and other poor women in the area. This year government had a plan to provide training to 800 women farmers in every block.
Training of Village Resource Persons
This has been a unique approach of scaling up of any activity relevant for small and marginal farmers. These persons are at the edge point with farming household. This person who himself is a farmer helps other common farmers in villages to handhold while practicing SRI method in his field. The farmers (women and men) identified by common women farmers in villages undergo different phases of training. 75% of the training is on motivational aspects while 25% training is on SRI method of crop cultivation and fertilizers and pesticide preparation. In all these training theory and practical’s are ensured. These are new farmers who undergo training and become VRPs. The details of training are as follows.
The VRP training is of four to six phases. The basic training on SRI is also integrated with transformational inputs pertaining to SRI and poverty eradication. A thema is there on training which is revived when a participant attends all the phases. This whole is spread over to a year to become complete VRP. The sequencing of phases is done as per the resources and time.
Development and validation of SRI implements
We trained local blacksmiths to manufacture Mandwa Weeder, Sri Vidhi Weeder, markers, sugarcane eye extractor and seed drill. We also helped these blacksmiths to obtain legal documents like license, TAN, PAN so that they are able to sell to other agencies promoting SRI method of crop cultivation. These blacksmiths are supplying Sri Vidhi Weeder to government of Madhya Pradesh and several organisations. There is a limitation with blacksmiths to improve the efficiency of wheat seed drill. Further with a firm called Agro Vision we have successfully demonstrated 5th generation SRI-Wheat seed drill which will help us in scaling up SRI-Wheat in 2014-15. A large number of changes have been made which are expected to make this machine suitable for many crops including SRI-Direct Seeded Rice.
Figure : Generation SRI-Wheat Seeder: PRAN satisfied with this version and will promote amongst farmers.
Figure : Mandwa Weeder for Paddy and Sri Vidhi weeder for Rabi crops
Most of the SRI implements are also being made by local blacksmiths
Figure : SRI implements being displayed at Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour,